529s: No Longer the Ho-Hum Investing Device for College

Changes to the plans allow for the savings to be rolled into a Roth IRA, as long as certain rules are met, if a child decides not to pursue their education.

A mom and daughter hug outside their SUV as the daughter prepares to go away to college.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

College 529 plans have been around for about 25 years. In fact, all those years ago, I launched the first public relations campaign explaining to parents and grandparents how they can save for their loved one’s secondary education.

529 plans derive their name from Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code. They were birthed because college tuition rates and costs were increasing at two to three times the rate of inflation. Student debt was mounting, and the government felt it had to offer tax-advantaged savings.

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Neale Godfrey, Financial Literacy Expert
President & CEO, Children's Financial Network Inc.

Neale Godfrey is a New York Times #1 best-selling author of 27 books, which empower families (and their kids and grandkids) to take charge of their financial lives. Godfrey started her journey with The Chase Manhattan Bank, joining as one of the first female executives, and later became president of The First Women's Bank and founder of The First Children's Bank. Neale pioneered the topic of "kids and money," which took off after her 13 appearances on "The Oprah Winfrey Show." www.nealegodfrey.com